British Airways breaks fencing champion’s wheelchair

A national wheelchair fencing champion from Cornwall has claimed he could lose funding for the next Paralympics after an airline broke his chair.
Matthew Campbell-Hill, from Truro, has travelled to Hungary to compete at the World Cup this week, but said he may now not be able to take part.
It is “crucial” that he does well at the event in Budapest, so that he can secure funding for the next four years.
British Airways (BA) said it was trying to “rectify the problem”.
Mr Campbell-Hill – recently crowned the British wheelchair fencing champion – has had to weld parts of his custom-built competition chair, as well as using heavy duty tape to hold it together.
“This will hopefully make it secure, but it does keep falling apart at the moment,” he said.
It is now “a race against time” to see if he can get a replacement, and he has claimed that missing out will have “knock-on effects on his career”.
In a statement, BA said it was “extremely sorry that Mr Campbell-Hill’s wheelchair was damaged while in our care”.
“We are talking to Mr Campbell-Hill to rectify the problem as soon as we can and will also reimburse him for any costs incurred due to the damage to his wheelchair.”
Footnote-  To those who might say this is much to do about nothing, I have tavelled exstensively with a myriad of chairs, from a 200lb electric to custom made lightweight day chair to sports chair and to date have never got my chair back in the condition I gave it.
The worst was when I was flying from Sydney Australia to los angeles, and we were waiting on the tarmac while  they finished loading the plane, when the passenger in front said “hey didn’t you have a metallic red electric wheelchair?” I said yes he replied “well check out the window” and as I looked there was a moving loading ramp with bags moving up to the height of the plane and there dropped to the tarmac was my chair. It had been dropped ten feet and If it wasn’t for my fiber glassing skills I would have been screwed. When I got home i had to re-fibreglass the bottom of my chair.

Lady Liberty now wheelchair accessible



Reposted from a story Published: Oct. 25, 2012 at 12:23 PM

NEW YORK, Oct. 25 (UPI) — NEW YORK, Oct. 25 (UPI) — The Statue of Liberty in New York will be wheelchair accessible for the first time when it opens this weekend after a year of renovations, officials said.

Statue of Liberty Superintendent David Luchsinger said the renovations, which include installing new staircases and an elevator designed for wheelchair-bound guests who wish to visit the observation decks, will allow about 26,000 more people to visit the monument per year when it reopens on its 126th birthday Sunday, CNN reported Thursday.

Luchsinger said about 3.5 million people visit the statue each year.

“Folks that have never been able to maneuver on the staircases can now go all the way up to the observation deck and experience that,” he said. “She’s not only our Statue of Liberty, she’s the world’s Statue of Liberty.”

Larry Hughes, a Vietnam War veteran, was chosen as the first wheelchair user to test out the elevator.

“You see this stuff on TV … but to actually be here, it takes on a whole brand new dimension,” Hughes said

Wheelchair bus battle mum says pushchairs must move

A FRUSTRATED mother says she struggles to get her disabled daughter to school – because she cannot find a space for her wheelchair on a bus.
Each morning, Nicola Windsor says she has to try three or four buses to secure a space for Alannamae, 6, who suffers from spina bifida.
Nicola, 26, of west Hull, says the space left for wheelchairs is usually occupied by prams, which parents and drivers refuse to move.
She said: “The sign on the buses clearly say that wheelchairs have priority over prams and pushchairs.
“One day, about three weeks ago, I went to get on a bus and there was a pushchair in the space at the front for wheelchairs.
“The kid must have been about three and could have easily stood up while the mum collapsed the pushchair.
“I asked her if it was possible for her to move it and she refused, then started swearing at me. The drivers should insist they move the pushchairs, but they don’t.”
Nicola seeks to catch a Stagecoach bus from Beverley Road.
She needs it to take her two daughters Alannamae and Reanna Ali, 5, to Newland St John’s Primary School in Beresford Avenue, north Hull.
But she says on many occasions she either has to arrive at the stop at 6.40am, or risk her children being late for school.
She said: “I’ve sent letters to Stagecoach and even called into their reception, but I’ve never had a response.
“Every time I follow it up, they say they haven’t received anything.
“I don’t know what else to do now.
“Something needs to be done.
“What is the point of having the sign giving priority to wheelchairs if everyone ignores it?
“I’m worried the situation is only going to get worse in winter.”
Stagecoach said there was no record of Nicola’s complaints.
A spokesman said: “We are concerned to hear of the problems that Ms Windsor has experienced when trying to use our services with her daughter.
“Most of our buses that operate in Hull have a dedicated space for a wheelchair-user to travel in.
“If a wheelchair-user wishes to board one of our services and the dedicated space is occupied by non-wheelchair users, we would expect our drivers to politely ask those individuals to relocate to another part of the bus.
“We have checked our records and it would appear that Ms Windsor has not contacted us directly to report the matter.
“We would welcome Ms Windsor getting in touch, so that we can investigate her complaint more thoroughly, once we have the specific details of the services she has tried to catch.”

Six Russian Wheelchair Users Kicked Off Flight

Originally Posted on:

A pilot has refused passage to a group of Russian wheelchair users heading to a seminar in Germany about improving accessibility in urban spaces.
The 34-strong delegation was set to depart from Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport on an AirBerlin flight to Dusseldorf, said State Duma deputy and delegation member Vladimir Krupennikov.
But the pilot refused to fly with more than two wheelchair users on board, citing the carrier’s internal safety regulations, said Krupennikov, himself a wheelchair user.
In the end, 11 group members, including six wheelchair users, failed to board the plane and had to find another flight to Dusseldorf, he said.
Those stranded are planning to sue AirBerlin for damages, Krupennikov said.
The company had one month’s warning that a large group of people with special needs will be flying on Monday, and gave written authorization, he explained.
As of Monday afternoon, the carrier had not commented on the incident. Its press service could not be reached by telephone or email.
AirBerlin generally takes a positive attitude toward people with special needs, and Monday’s incident may have been a “misunderstanding,” said Alexander Lomakin-Rumyantsev, who heads the All-Russia Society for the Disabled.
But similar incidents have happened in Russia. In April, Vladivostok Air refused a woman with only one leg passage from Moscow to Ulan-Ude. The carrier S7 lost two lawsuits in 2008 and 2009 over refusing to let disabled people on board.

airport wheelchair fakes are making life hard for disabled travellers

Wheelchair Fakers Skip Airport Security Lines
By JUJU KIM | @jujkim | October 8, 2012 |
A woman sits in a wheelchair.
When long airport security lines become too much to handle, request a wheelchair.
That’s the tactic some fully abled passengers are using to cut through the winding queues at airport security checkpoints, the New York Times reported. According to the 1986 Air Carrier Access Act, airlines are required to accomodate disabled travelers — who need not show any proof of disability — free of charge.
Airport staffers recognize the deception occurs; they’ve learned to expect a large volume of wheelchair requests during periods when security lags.
“When [travelers] see that the line is so long, they just ask for a wheelchair,” Evelyn Danquah, an attendant for Delta Air Lines, told the Times. She said she has seen some wheelchair fakers stand and walk away as soon as they clear security. Wheelchair attendants — whose salaries range between $9 and $14 an hour, with tips, help to maintain a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding the line-hopping strategy in hopes of bolstering their paychecks, the Times reported.
The practice has even spawned a new term among flight attendants: “miracle flights,” in which passengers use wheelchairs to board but abandon them when their planes land. Kelly Skyles, the national safety and security coordinator for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, told the Times she believes travelers shed their wheelchairs because passengers in wheelchairs are the last to leave the plane.
“Not only do we serve them beverages and ensure their safety — now we’re healing the sick,” said Skyles, who is also a flight attendant.
Peter Greenberg, author and travel editor for CBS News, said he has noticed miracle flights on the rise as security has increased in rigor. He told the Times the scammers will eventually face unpleasant consequences.
“I’m a big believer in karma,” he said. “You don’t put on a dress when the Titanic is going down so you can get in the first lifeboat.”
Karma wasn’t kind to one wheelchair faker in the past. The Telegraph reported in late August that Barry Brooks, who had pretended to be disabled in order to secure nearly $2.9 million in grants — which he then used to buy luxury cars, motorcycles and a penthouse in Spain — was sentenced to eight years in prison.
It’s unclear whether deceitful passengers will suffer any penalties in the future. Jean Medina, spokesperson for industry trade organization Airlines for America, wrote in an email to the Times that her organization hopes travelers would refrain from abusing the law.
“We respect our passengers, and we trust their integrity when they seek wheelchair assistance,” Medina said in the email

Hey MTA if you change a train from a platform that is accessible to one that’s not how about telling the disabled!

Every time I rock wall climb I catch the 7 train from Main St., Flushing which has an elevator from the street level to the train. Then I get off at Queensboro Plaza  where I roll 20 feet straight across the platform straight onto the train. When I get to the Atlantic Pacific Station I get straight onto an elevator to the mezzanine then a second one to the street level. Well the ABC 7 news announced that for the next month from Friday night to Monday morning the 7 train would not go all the way into Manhattan, but would stop at Queensboro Plaza. I thought, no problem I only go that far to go climbing. They forgot to tell the public and especially the disabled public, that the rerouting of the trains meant they were no longer wheelchair accessible.  Even though I am a regular and all the Main St, Flushing station, the staff know me, no one gave us the heads up. Not only did the train terminate at Queensboro Plaza, but it stopped on a higher floor platform one level above my train that I need to go climbing.The platform we pulled up at had no elevators so me and every other wheelchair bound person would have to, like I did this morning, get out of their chair and crawl down over a 100 stairs on our asses while dragging our chairs behind us down the stairs. What amazes me is when you’re on a train they constantly bombard you with inane recordings that no one cares about but one really important one like “attention disabled persons disembarking at Queensboro Plaza, we apologize but the platform we will be stopping at is not accessible.” Is that too much to ask?

Since when is the price of a life of disability crawling on greasy spit (and god knows what else) covered metal plate stairs every time you catch a train? Put a little more thought into repairs next time MTA.

Sorry if you opt out of our perfectly good meals? or big deal if you have special needs we’ll take money but not care says paradox sports

When I lived back in my native Australia I worked with a mental health therapy group called grow mental health international, our mission was when someone who had been in long term institutional care was being released we worked with them from a couple of weeks before release to help them reacclimatize with society. WE would regularly take groups of former patients on weekend getaways. The form we used for each patient looked like this.




Medications required—-

Emergency contact number—

Special dietary requirements—


Do you use a mobility aid if so what kind?

The questions above were required because if the person requires medication we need to know in case they start showing symptoms, we could make sure they had taken it. The dietary requirements were neccessary to know about, because so many of us me included can actually be medical compromised  if they eat the wrong thing and if there are diabetics amongst we must provide sugar free. Allergies are important to now about  because so many foods have hidden ingredients, and while for most they are just flavor to many they are deadly.

Of course knowing about mobility aids means you can in advance organize appropriate accommodation, and organize help if the pathways and tracks used might make movement difficult for those using certain aids.

All this must be known before you ever get to the fun stuff which is the point of the trip such as boating or climbing or biking or any other activity.

To tell someone who is part of a group that is made up 100% of people who are dis or otherwise abled that “it’s not their faulty if you opt out of perfectly good food “ and that they shouldn’t be required to provide anything different for special needs guests is you sir opting out of your duty of care.

If a destination doesn’t want to provide special needs arrangements for special needs guests, then I am sorry they should be banned from  encouraging them to visit.  There is a medical term called “duty of care” in medical legalese there is a law that says if a doctor or medical professional comes upon a accident they don’t have to stop they can go straight past, but if they do they must provide care to the best of their professional ability until they are relieved by another medical professional with equal or greater or specialized skills pertinent to the condition of the patient. In short you don’t have to have special needs guests you can say sorry this destination is unsuitable for the physically compromised, but if you do you must do it to the highest professional standard. If you charge a fee for “all meals and accommodation” by law under the Americans with disabilities act if you are knowingly taking a fee to house and feed the disabled you must be ADA compliant and provide said services to the letter of the federal act or not at all. So as we new Yorkers say go big or go home you cannot charge for what you do not provide hmmm such a paradox isn’t it.

 Below is a paragraph from the Americans with disabilities act pertaining to public accomadations.

Restaurants, hotels, theaters, shopping centers and malls, retail stores, museums, libraries, parks, private schools, day care centers, and other similar places of public accommodation may not discriminate on the basis of disability. 28 CFR 36.201. Effective Date: January 26, 1992,

when you charge a set fee for food and accommadation and provide it for one half of the group but when the other half is disabled and their food requirements are part of that disability and you refuse to feed them because of the food requirements, you are in direct violation of the federal act above you have refused equal accomadation on the basis of their disabilities.